Plants for Water Wise Pollinator Gardens: Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

Plant family

Nasturtium (Tropaeolaceae)

Common Names



Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) is an annual plant native to higher elevations of Mexico and western South America. A distinctive feature is its long spur where nectar is concentrated.

Plants can be upright or trailing and grow to about 15 to 16 inches high and three or more feet if trailing.

Small to large showy flowers bloom in spring through summer and into fall depending on the climate. Cultivars are available in many colors.

A collection of red yellow and orange flowers
A collage of different Nasturtium flower colors. Photo credit: Robyn Jay Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Nasturtiums can tolerate low fertility, but for best growth, plant in well drained soils in full sun They need temperatures that are not too hot or below freezing.

All parts of the Nasturtium are edible.

Seeds are available in many garden centers, grocery stores, and large box stores.

A potted plant with orange flowers
Trailing nasturtiums in a large outdoor pot Photo credit: Susan Buffler


Hawk moths


Additional Resources


Florida – Nasturtium, Garden – Tropaeolum majus L.
North Carolina – Plant Fact Sheets


Texas – Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus